A Knight Frank Global Buyer Survey 2021 has revealed that an overwhelming 71% of African respondents prioritized energy efficiency in their home search, compared to 42% globally. An additional 29% of African respondents indicated that they would prefer a greener home and be willing to pay more for it compared to 27% globally.

The Global Buyer Survey represents the views of over 900 Knight Frank clients across 49 global markets and the 9 African countries. These are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) is taking precedence over other considerations for African home buyers. Good air quality, proximity to green space and access to good healthcare were ranked as the most important location features to home buyers.

Commenting on the research results, Tilda Mwai, senior analyst Knight Frank said, “The just concluded November Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, has helped to cement the growing importance of sustainable led residential developments. This survey provides us with a timely glimpse on how investors and buyers are zeroing in on the sustainability agenda across Africa. We expect these findings will send a strong signal to developers on what buyers want, as the race to sustainability intensifies.”

A home study office, access to broad band internet and more outdoor space topped the list of the most preferred property features. This indicates the impact of remote working on home buying trends.

Rightsizing emerged as the key feature in future buying intentions with 22% of the respondents citing upgrading family’s primary residence as the main motivation towards buying a house. 17% cited downsizing as the main motivation.

Furthermore, when asked about the type of property they would like to live in, in the future, 50% of respondents in the region said they would be more inclined to buy a rural or country estate. his number is slightly higher than the rest of the world respondents at 34%. Employment, healthcare, and children’s education emerged among the biggest motivating factors for African buyers.

Some 34% of the respondents indicated that they are more likely to purchase a second home, in line with the global average at 33%. However, the need for African homebuyers to live in the suburbs was at 57%, with the global figure lower at 33%.